Jazz presenter and radio icon Mr Mesh Mapetla has passed away.
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa sent condolences to the family and friends of Mapetla who passed on Tuesday, January 1 at the age of 71.
Mapetla had worked for the SABC radio stations including Lesedi FM and Metro FM.
In a press statement, Mthethwa reflected on the life of Mapetla, who was also known as Bra Mesh, "The Ultimate Jazz Fundi".
"Mapetla was an extremely knowledgeable and a passionate bearer and sharer of all that is Jazz Music in the programmes he had presented over the decades, which led to him being known in Jazz circles as "The Ultimate Jazz Fundi"'.
“We often do not pay enough tribute to Radio presenters and DJ’s for their role in popularising the music we inevitably grow to love. In reality, the role of DJ has historically been an underrated one, a tribe of behind-the-scenes heroes and heroines who continued to shape the direction of music long after they’re gone as a contributing force.
"That is who we are mourning today- a larger than life personality, who has quietly and with great commitment, shaped the way that Jazz enthusiasts have thought about, consumed, and appreciated this special genre of music over the decades," said Mthethwa.
Mapetla's radio career had seen him at the helm of critical Jazz Music shows on radio stations including Radio BOP (Radio Bophuthatswana), Radio METRO (Metro FM) and recently Lesedi FM.
At Lesedi FM, the legendary “Mesh Talk” popularised the Jazz music genre, as a presenter, as well as a music compiler at the station. During his Sunday slot days at the station, jazz lovers would have their ears glued to the radio.
We are deeply saddened by the devastating news of the passing on of one of the pioneers of Jazz music, Presenter & Radio legend Mesh Mapetla known by his fans as “Bra Mesh”. We convey our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends & the jazz community. #RIPMeshMapetla pic.twitter.com/pAz3vzWgtu— Arts & Culture (@ArtsCultureSA) January 1, 2019
More tributes started pouring for the radio legend:
One of the pioneers of commercial radio in South Africa, my big brother and friend Bra Mesh ‘Senor’ Mapetla has passed on. From his Radio SR days to MetroFM he shared & taught some of us. My sympathies to the Mapetla family. #RIPMeshMapetla— Tim Modise (@TimModise) January 1, 2019
We have this picture at home. Let me share it. pic.twitter.com/053mzNZHuq— John Mphatsoe (@JohnMphatsoe) January 1, 2019
I can only imagine. Share those memories with the world. His name must not be forgotten.— Loyiso Twala (@loyisothevictor) January 1, 2019
I remember his show, “Mesh Mapetla and the mother-ship connection” is the 80’s.— Anwar Lagardien (@zippy99za) January 2, 2019
Good memories. RIP
May the great jazz master rest in peace Bramash mapetla. A hamba madoda...— Mareme seroka (@SerokaMareme) January 2, 2019